The PSI-COM email list is a community forum for science communication professionals, but these days it is often used by people looking for help with various media projects, as well as general announcements and job postings (mostly internships and poverty wage positions). Requests for assistance from lazy and barely literate researchers employed in the production of science shows for the devil’s lightbox are all too common, and this morning we had one such tedious missive.
In reply came the following anonymous spoof…
“I am a researcher for a TV company. I have no background or interest in science, that is why I think looking at men preferring blonds or how gingers experience pain constitutes ‘revealing experiments’. I can’t be bothered to look on google so I wondered if there was anyone out there who could do my work for me? I’ll dangle the slim chance of getting on TV (because I know that’s what everyone on this list secretly and desperately wants) in exchange for a whole load of ‘interesting psychological/physiological experiments’, you know the ones about men and blonds and gingers and pain, that I’ll then take all the credit for.”
This contributor was promptly banned from the list for being sarcastic and rude. Or at least being anonymously sarcastic and rude. I found the parody rather amusing. The writer highlights a common perception of pop-science and other TV documentary producers, and the spoof may for some PSI-COM members be uncomfortably close to the truth.
I would like to see the anonymous contributor own-up, be re-admitted to the list, and give us more of the same. Oh, and for the feckless TV researchers to fuck off and stop wasting our time.